Gardening is a favourite pastime for many people. There’s something inherently calming about being outdoors, caring for your garden and watching the flowers bloom or pulling carrots from the ground. The constantly evolving world of landscape and garden design is of interest to so many people, particular homeowners. Your backyard is your chance to cultivate your own tranquil space, plus, it’s your hard work that’s paying off!
A little work outside can make the home feel new again and give your whole property a new lease on life. Use our guide to keep your home looking stunning. As a bonus, almost all of these tips apply not only to traditional freestanding homes but apartments and townhouses too.
It’s no big secret that most homeowners like to entertain outside, especially in Australia. Having a BBQ in the backyard or a nice dinner on the patio are all common pastimes due to the (generally) lovely weather we enjoy year-round. A recent survey by Adbri Masonry found that over 42 per cent of people used their backyards primarily for entertaining, but most aren’t happy with how the space looks.
With this in mind, take a look at the area you use to entertain. If you don’t have one, now is the perfect time to go grab a nice table, create a built-in BBQ space or even a backyard pizza oven. If you’ve already got the backbone of your entertaining area sorted, think about how you could spruce it up: new cushion covers, a coat of paint and the introduction of lantern lighting can make the space feel completely different.
Once you’ve set it all up, have some friends over and enjoy a fabulous dinner party in your new outdoor dining area!
Pantone’s Colour of the Year is the ‘universal favourite’, Classic Blue (Pantone 19-4052). Described by Pantone to be ‘a reassuring presence instilling calm, confidence and connection’, Classic Blue hallmarks how people have been shifting towards darker shades in design for a few seasons now. This has been seen in outdoor garden areas, where colours like black, slate, and dark navy blue are popular selections.
The right colours can help enhance a garden and are a relatively painless way to keep an outdoor space feeling modern and fresh. Easy updates can include a repaint of the fence in black or charcoal, which helps the appearance of fences recede, giving the illusion of more space. Loose pavers can be switched out for darker tiles, with the lighter tiles (carefully) stored away in case you want to change it up again next year. Swap out the white cushions for a navy set to give an air of sophistication to the area. Plants with red, purple or black leaves are striking additions to any landscape and can create connectivity between the wider garden, your entertaining areas and indoor spaces.
When you’ve got children and pets running all over the place, keeping your gardens pretty and well-tended to can be the last thing on your mind. To combat this issue, searches for ‘child-friendly gardens’ have recently hit an all-time high on Pinterest. People want gardens that look fabulous, yet are easy on the upkeep.
A great way to achieve this is by designating a section of the garden to your children’s playtime and entertainment. Whether it’s a swing set and sandpit in the back corner, or a flat grassy section against the fence for soccer practice; it’s all about maximising their use of the space, without having to give up your entire outdoor area to their frivolities. Helping them plant and cultivate a veggie garden or a fairy garden full of flowers is another great idea, as it not only gets them interested in gardening and the environment, but it can also get you free labour — after all, if they’re out there watering their garden, they might as well water yours too.
There’s also something to be said for planning when designing your garden. If the kids want a sandpit now, could you potentially re-purpose that in five years for an outdoor fire pit or as a raised garden bed? Maybe that swing set would be great for encouraging your climbing roses in their first couple of years? What do you need to change to ensure that you can re-purpose an area in a couple of years? Some planning now can save you time and money down the line.
Australia has been struggling with drought for several years now, and recent fires have proven just how dry our country can get when it hasn’t rained in a while. It’s important to consider the longevity of your landscaping efforts — your plants need to be able to survive through periods of drought, otherwise, you’ll end up having to completely replant every time it doesn’t rain for a few months. Creating gardens that don’t need constant watering is becoming increasingly important. Using drought-resistant plants — particularly natives — is a great way for Australians to combat this issue, and is a trend that has cemented itself in the ethos of the Australian gardening community.
Jason Elboz, director at Space Designs, highlights the need for drought-resistant plants and says that cactuses and succulents (for example, agave) are becoming popular accompaniments to natives.
“That’s the other big one: the mix of every kind of plant,” says Tyrrell. “Natives and exotics through to cactuses and succulents, through to edibles and citrus. All those plants are coming together and being planted in one cohesive space. That’s a big movement in the past couple for years.”
What do you think about these gardening trends? Are they something you want to use for your home, or do you prefer something else? Let us know in the comments below!